Nyathi was in Bafana’s first generation that went on to win the 1996 African Nations Cup, participated in the 1997 FIFA Confederations Cup and qualified for and played at the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France. Nyathi went on to play 45 matches in national team colours.
“In Shakes Mashaba, finally, we have someone who has brought back that proudly South African mentality and it’s good because it’s rubbing off on everyone from players to fans,” Nyathi tells KickOff.com.
“This team was built for Vision 2022 and I know it’s too early but by the look of things they are on the right track. They are doing all the things right and they must not stop working hard.”
READ: Jali on how Shakes has helped him
When Clive Barker took over as Bafana coach in 1994, the team was known as '4x4s' as they were getting drubbed by four goals left, right and centre. But when Barker took over, everything changed. Nyathi says it will take a lot to surpass that achievement.
“We must not be in a hurry because this team is still young and new. I’m not sure if they will surpass what we achieved but for the sake of the country I hope they do. Tomorrow they have a tough match [against Congo in Polokwane] and I hope they win it. I will be behind them as well as the rest of the country.”
READ: Booth: Mashaba is his own man
Nyathi worked as an Ajax Cape Town assistant coach in the last few months and was let go by the team after they lost their MTN sponsorship. Now Nyathi says he is in no rush to get back into the game.
“Ajax Cape Town lost MTN sponsorship and that had financial implications at the club. So last season we sat down and discussed what is the best possible way going forward and we both decided to part ways. But I had a great time there, I have nothing but good memories at that club. Right now I’m just refreshing and looking at what the future holds for me.”